As the labor dispute between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. lurches toward federal mediation that might produce a season-saving compromise, word comes from Minnesota that emphasizes how costly this lockout has become for so many people who are associated with the game at different levels.
The Star Tribune reported Tuesday 200 employees of the Wild will be put on four-day, 32-hour work weeks, which will bring a 20% cut in pay. To lessen the blow, the cuts won’t be felt in employees’ paychecks until after Christmas.
Oh, and in case you have forgotten, the Wild is the small-market team that spent $196 million over the summer to sign free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to identical 13-year, $98-million contracts that included a $10-million signing bonus to each player. Though Suter and Parise — like other NHL players — are not getting paid, both players got their bonus checks.
So the Wild paid $20 million to two players who aren’t playing and now feels compelled to economize on staff salaries, which surely aren’t in the $98-million range. Happy holidays, folks!